10 years ago, in the midst of recession in 1998 I resigned. My ex-boss told me, “Lilian, a family cannot survive on $1x,000 per month. Why do you want to do this? (resign)”
I told him, “Datuk….it is not like I have a choice. I must take care of my children. But Datuk, RM1xK is enough for my family already.”
Well, what do you expect from a man who earns a six-digit income, has homes in Australia, London, Hongkong, Singapore and all over Malaysia? He predicted my doom because he knows I cannot survive being merely a ‘mom’. My darling ex-boss is a real Chinaman MCP but he is a very nice man, at least to me.
I didn’t die of starvation. I didn’t kill myself due to boredom of being just a mom. I didn’t end up in Tanjung Rambutan because my only title was ‘housewife’. I proved him wrong and I know he is utterly proud that I didn’t crawl back and tugged at his feet and beg, “Datuk, take me back, I am wrong, you were right. I will be the tea-lady if you have no vacancies for me. No one makes coffee for you like I do.”
So, 10 years passed. What have I done? A lot, base on my own evaluation.
Last week, I started going out ‘doing real adult things’. Now, I have a routine that I hope to keep to. Monday to Wednesday mornings, I can actually ‘go out to work’ though the work is not a paying one.
I have forgotten what freedom is.
Freedom is taking the car keys, hopped into it and has a destination to go to.
Freedom is when others addressed you by your name and not Mrs. So & So or so&so’s mommy.
Freedom is knowing that you have a purpose.
Freedom is knowing that you need your wisdom, tact, knowledge, experience, skill and all the adult things to deal with what you are going to do.
Freedom is knowing that you have made at least one person’s life different, each day, because you wanted to and not because you are asked to.
Freedom is being able to steal some time to have lunch alone without worrying if the kids are lying on the floor at home, motionless due to starvation.
For that, I am deeply grateful to the person who showed me the way there. And today, Monday, I was told that I am going to do it alone. Well, I do not know what it is about me, but for a very disciplined person to trust me that I can be left to run around in a place like that, she must have a lot of trust and faith in me.
That brings me to faith. Faith. When people tells me they have faith in me, it is like a jet-pack to launch me off to cloud nine. “I have faith in you, Lilian.” Doc C told me when he asked me to write the ICU book. Now, FF probably has the same faith like Doc C to show me the way. Allowing me to use his name as a reference is a big deal to me. As for Ss. I & C.A., I think they may have a tiny drop of faith and trust in me but they probably trust Jesus more to deal with me. Either I decided one morning to call it quits or I tell them I am ready for the next stage.
Which brings me back to freedom again. I need to take a very big leap to get that freedom of being a ‘real adult with real job’. This one, I dare not even think about it. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”
**To all the full-time moms, I hope you are not discouraged with my ramblings. Taking care of our children is top priority but after some years, I need to strike out and find something enriching to do. I am only able to do this now because this is a short lapse where I have a full-time husband to watch over my children. LOL.